Is Email Dying?

As “Top-Down” Communication Grows Cumbersome, Team Collaboration Apps Gain Momentum

Recent research suggests the sun may be setting on one of the workplace’s most universal communication tools: email. Business 2 Community reports that as much as 73% of an employee’s inbox is irrelevant to their role, introducing communication bottlenecks, breakdowns and misfires that cost companies potentially thousands of dollars per employee per year — back-breaking amounts for many small and mid-market businesses. In fact, according to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a 100-person company loses an average of $420,000 a year due to the productivity losses triggered by poor communication. As the productivity losses and overhead costs of managing standard email clients pile up, many business leaders are adding more intuitive, unified solutions to their communication stacks, solutions that may (eventually) be the final nails in the coffin for legacy email tools.

Exploring the Hidden Costs of Email

The hidden costs of email pile even higher when you consider two other factors: the overhead costs of legacy technology and the needs of a mobile workforce.

In its 2016 Connected Small Business Report, Salesforce found that SMBs spend more than half of their budgets on maintaining legacy communication and collaboration solutions, including legacy email tools and hardware like phones and conferencing equipment. In many cases, this throws SMB owners into a “death-by-papercuts” model where you’re paying multiple vendors for individual tools on top of the overhead you’re spending on upkeeping the technology and pushing through collaboration inefficiencies.

Keeping communication tools like email siloed is also drastically incompatible with the needs of mobile workforces. Salesforce’s report emphasizes that only a shocking 6% of SMBs are using cloud-based collaboration solutions. In today’s age of on-the-go, bring-your-own-device (BYOD)-powered employees, a lack of anywhere, anytime access to mission-critical collaboration tools can dramatically reduce your remote team’s productivity and effectiveness.

What’s the Alternative to Email?

Let’s be clear: Email will likely not die out entirely, but it is fast becoming insufficient as a primary mode of organizational collaboration when it’s utilized separately from the other solutions you use to drive collaboration and productivity. Rather than pressing on with email’s limited, “top-down” functionality, where communication is launched by individuals and becomes siloed within specific message chains buried inside an inbox, many businesses are using cloud-based applications to unify collaboration tools and create “channels” where all communication, files, tasks and even payments for specific projects or initiatives live.

Mobile Business Insights recently explored the rise of internal team collaboration apps in a new article, highlighting how these unified solutions can help you overcome many of the challenges presented by standard email clients.

The Benefits of Team Collaboration Apps

No More “Top-Down” Communication

Because team collaboration apps like Slack and Glip consolidate communication into logical channels, you avoid the hassles of combing through email chains and tracking down one-off messages when you need to locate project-specific information. Instead of “top-down” communication, you get a more flexible, shared collaboration experience that happens in real time.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Eliminating the legwork of managing email makes communication quicker and less of a day-to-day interruption for employees. In their research, Business 2 Community found that internal team collaboration apps can increase productivity by as much as 25%.

Solution Unification

Most team collaboration apps enable you to bring disparate tools together into one unified solution. Imagine how much time and money you’d save if you could integrate your email client with the technologies you use to manage projects, process payments and provide customer support? With the right app, you can.

Dive Deeper into Unified Communications

It should come as no surprise that the hype around team collaboration apps coincides with an explosion in the unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) market. UCaaS providers help you streamline internal and external communication by arming you with proprietary, integrated cloud solutions for collaboration and conferencing. If you’re interested in learning more about which features are driving businesses to ditch legacy collaboration tools in favor of UCaaS, check out our article, “Why Switch to UCaaS?”